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Richard Dawkins and the God of the Old Testament
#1
Richard Dawkins and the God of the Old Testament
[Image: Richard-Dawkins1.jpg]
Richard Dawkins, Misguided Mentor


Over the past few months, I have observed and participated in a number of threads regarding the moral character of God as portrayed in the Old Testament.

Richard Dawkins undoubtedly spoke for many when he wrote:

Quote:"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

Devastating stuff at first blush. But Dr. Benjamin Wiker takes Dawkins' ideas and goes a little deeper with them. Wiker asks:

Quote:Suppose upon reading his devastating attack on the God of the Old Testament, we would reject the Bible and embrace Dawkins' atheism—exactly what Dawkins wishes to be the effect on readers. What then? Would we be any better off?

Wiker notes that in coming over to the atheist side, we face a number of new problems that arise.

Quote:First of all, as he himself admits in his book River out of Eden, in coming over to Dawkins' side, we have thereby embraced a cosmos indifferent to good or evil. As a consequence, we immediately face a dilemma: we have no moral grounds for condemning the actions of God (He doesn't exist) or the characters in the Bible (good and evil don't exist). Since God doesn't exist, there is no reason to work up a froth of indignation against Him, anymore than against the lunkheaded Zeus in Homer's Iliad.

Yet now another, more amusing problem arises for Dawkins as the champion of Darwinism today. It would seem that a good many of the complaints made by Dawkins against the God of the Old Testament could with equal justice be made against natural selection itself. To say the least, that puts himself in a paradoxical position.

Applying the principles and logic of natural selection to an "Evolution God", Wiker asks a number of questions:

Quote:...many sociologists of religion argue that primitive people tend to fashion their notions of the gods according to the way they experience nature, as nature deified .... What would evolution look like if we tried to deify evolution's principles?

Would the Evolution God (EG) be "unjust" in its callous indifference "to all suffering," and supremely so, for continually picking off the weak and sickly?

Would EG be an "unforgiving control-freak," "megalomaniacal," and "petty" since (as Darwin stated), "It may metaphorically be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, the slightest variations; rejecting those that are bad, preserving and adding up all that are good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relations to its organic and inorganic conditions of life"?

Would EG be "sadomasochistic" in his use of suffering, destruction, and death as the means to create new forms of life? A "capriciously malevolent bully" in his "lacking all purpose" and being "callous"? A "bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser," "genocidal," and "racist" in his continually pitting one species population against another in severe struggle, the struggles among humans taking place between tribe and tribe, race and race? And what adjective would describe EG, who uses these deadly struggles as the very vehicle responsible for the upward climb of human evolution?

So we've rejected the God of the Old Testament for Dawkins' atheistic account of evolution, only to find out that many of the traits Dawkins marked as repugnant are ensconced in natural selection (except that now, as a new and even more unfortunate kind of Job, we have no one against whom to complain).

Clearly, a deified Evolution is no less objectionable than the God of the Old Testament. But what of the people of the OT, the Jews themselves? Wiker notes:

Quote:On Dawkins' own grounds, it would be hard to imagine a people who more assiduously pursued a better set of evolutionary strategies for ensuring that its gene pool was carried forward, undiluted by rival tribes and races, than the ancient Jews. They were genetic geniuses!

Consequently, it seems to me that the atheists who reject the God of the OT on moral grounds are hoisted by their own petard. As Wiker concludes:

Quote:What, then, is left of Dawkins' case against the God of the Old Testament? Nothing at all.

Taken from:

Richard Dawkins and the God of the Old Testament
by Dr. Benjamin Wiker
http://www.strangenotions.com/richard-da...testament/
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#2
RE: Richard Dawkins and the God of the Old Testament
Oh look, an original thought!

No wait, just more copying and pasting of other people's material. False alarm -_-
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#3
RE: Richard Dawkins and the God of the Old Testament
You've really got a hardon for Prof Dawkins, haven't you Randy?

Or rather, as usual, someone else's hardon.
At the age of five, Skagra decided emphatically that God did not exist.  This revelation tends to make most people in the universe who have it react in one of two ways - with relief or with despair.  Only Skagra responded to it by thinking, 'Wait a second.  That means there's a situation vacant.'
Reply
#4
RE: Richard Dawkins and the God of the Old Testament
(September 27, 2015 at 11:28 am)Stimbo Wrote: You've really got a hardon for Prof Dawkins, haven't you Randy?




I'm so sorry
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#5
RE: Richard Dawkins and the God of the Old Testament
No, don't be. I've always loved over that image.
At the age of five, Skagra decided emphatically that God did not exist.  This revelation tends to make most people in the universe who have it react in one of two ways - with relief or with despair.  Only Skagra responded to it by thinking, 'Wait a second.  That means there's a situation vacant.'
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#6
RE: Richard Dawkins and the God of the Old Testament
OK, for the millionst time - I'm not a follower of any of the prominent atheists. But what do you expect this Wiker character's reply would look like, given that "Benjamin Wiker (born 1960) is a Roman Catholic ethicist."

So biased judges biased. There's no more to it than that.
[Image: Bumper+Sticker+-+Asheville+-+Praise+Dog3.JPG]
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#7
RE: Richard Dawkins and the God of the Old Testament
Randy, answer me this: would it hurt if for no reason, I approached you with a cleaver and cut off your hand?
'The more I learn about people the more I like my dog'- Mark Twain

'You can have all the faith you want in spirits, and the afterlife, and heaven and hell, but when it comes to this world, don't be an idiot. Cause you can tell me you put your faith in God to put you through the day, but when it comes time to cross the road, I know you look both ways.' - Dr House

“Young earth creationism is essentially the position that all of modern science, 90% of living scientists and 98% of living biologists, all major university biology departments, every major science journal, the American Academy of Sciences, and every major science organization in the world, are all wrong regarding the origins and development of life….but one particular tribe of uneducated, bronze aged, goat herders got it exactly right.” - Chuck Easttom

"If my good friend Doctor Gasparri speaks badly of my mother, he can expect to get punched.....You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others. There is a limit." - Pope Francis on freedom of speech
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#8
RE: Richard Dawkins and the God of the Old Testament
You know, god changed his mind after the old masturbation, I mean, testament. I feel sorry for that inaginary thing, god. So much human error being assigned to that.
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#9
RE: Richard Dawkins and the God of the Old Testament
Wiker (an ethicist, not a scientist) is widely dismissed by truly intelligent people. Some of his nuttier claims are that there is no evidence for natural selection, because Darwin was part of a conspiracy to undermine belief in God, and that natural selection is not compatible with natural law. Having thus disposed of the messenger, I see no real reason to bother with the message.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#10
RE: Richard Dawkins and the God of the Old Testament
Evolution gets turned into a god and deified? Too rich. And the descriptive words he assigns to evolution, hilarious.

Thanks for the laugh.
I don't have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem




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